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Feds, Northern Cheyenne Reach Settlement Over Water Issues

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Taylar Stagner
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The sign that can be seen when entering Northern Cheyenne Reservation

Today the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice resolved a settlement with the Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission over violations of federal water laws.

The Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission has been in non-compliance with the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulations since 2008.

Violations included failure to meet scheduled deadlines, failure to maintain the facility and unauthorized discharge of partially treated, or untreated sewage.

The settlement Tuesday requires the Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission to make renovations to improve the quality of water on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. The commission was also fined $1,500 for past damages.

Since 2017, a group including the Northern Cheyenne, Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, and Indian Health Service has worked with the Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission to improve water management on Northern Cheyenne.

Taylar Stagner covers tribal affairs for Yellowstone Public Radio.